Magnolia Cemetery

N of Charleston off U.S. 52, Charleston, South Carolina


Magnolia Cemetery, Van der Horst Mausoleum

Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey

View photos at Library of Congress


Street View 


Magnolia Cemetery comprises approximately 58 acres of marshland and 92 acres of high land on the Cooper River north of town within the Charleston Neck. Magnolia Cemetery is typical of the rural cemetery movement that was popular in the second half of the 19th century.Originally the tract of land was part of the Magnolia Umbria Plantation granted by the Lord Proprietors in 1672. The site was located north of the city of Charleston and was predominately used as country seats and summer plantation retreats. The Magnolia Cemetery site saw a number of uses, including serving as a parade ground, part of the Oaks Country Club, and a mill pond. Commonly referred to as Bennet's or Trolley's Point, the first interment of the cemetery occurred in 1836 soon after a city ordinance was passed that outlawed burials within city limits. The Magnolia Cemetery Company was established in 1850 and the cemetery was designed with small lakes, islands, forests, bridges, marshlands, locks to control water, a gateway, porter's lodge, a Gothic non-denominational church, receiving tomb, gardens, fences and the original plantation house, ca 1790, that was used as the superintendent's house.Today, many remnants of the original design remain but the porter's lodge, gateway, church and garden features no longer exist. -- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS SC-700)

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 24, 1978
Reference number
Areas of significance
Landscape Architecture; Art; Architecture; Social History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Period of significance
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 4
Contributing structures: 6
Contributing sites: 1

Update Log 

  • August 6, 2014: New photos from Michael Miller
  • July 23, 2014: New Street View added by Michael Miller
  • October 28, 2013: New photos from Michael Miller

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